Leader in multi-disciplinary health impact promoted to Professor

Thursday 21 July 2022

"Hanna has completely reshaped engagement and impact within the College, and the University more broadly.  Fostering a culture of altruistic, future focused research partnerships and outcomes."

– Professor Nick Birbilis, College Interim Dean

School of Computing Associate Director—Engagement and Impact, Hanna Suominen has been promoted to Professor within the ANU College of Engineering and Computer Science. 

Professor Suominen has almost 20 years’ experience working at the interface between technology, education, and health / social sciences. Her tireless advocacy for continuous improvement in pedagogy has seen our students and education community thrive under her leadership. Hanna’s value as a leader is complemented by ongoing engagement with the wider university—contributing to our Grand Challenge Project (Our Health in Our Hands) as part of the executive team leading the Big Data Program and her ongoing dedication to service roles across the community. ‘Hanna has completely reshaped engagement and impact within the College, and the University more broadly. Fostering a culture of altruistic, future focused research partnerships and outcomes’, says College Interim Dean, Professor Nick Birbilis.

Through her research Hanna is at the forefront of accelerating health impact from precision medicine technology, including the application of advanced analytics and Machine Learning (ML). She has discovered methods to detect Parkinsonian biomarkers based on human voice that are imperceptible to a neurologist; developed smart sports-sensors for the Australian Institute of Sports (AIS) and web search engines used by the Turku University Hospital; and involved with CSIRO’s Data61, including a joint appointment during her tenure at CECS; to name but a few of her accomplishments. Hanna was also named in Senior Fellows of Higher Education Association in 2019 and obtained her Master of Education Leadership (Curriculum & Pedagogy) in 2020.

"I see in myself, a catalyst for change, to manage complexity and drive collegiality, as well as mentor emerging leaders to bridge the gap between computer, health, and social sciences."

– Professor Hanna Suominen

Hanna is widely recognised by her peers and colleagues within the College and across ANU for her commitment and passion. Professor Tony Hosking, School of Computing Director states that, "Hanna brings rare experience in applying techniques from machine learning and natural language processing, across multiple health care applications, in working with both government and commercial partners, and in commercialising her research. She has also been a leader for over a decade to develop realistic evaluation challenges in medical informatics that have seen broad participation from that community in competing to develop artificial intelligence applications to medical informatics. Hanna is an exemplary academic citizen to the School, College and University".

Hanna’s passion for supporting the education community and fostering engagement is further demonstrated by her position as a co-founder and the chief ML scientist of the PostAc® web service. This technology maps non-academic demand for PhD graduates and helps them, through its online learning activities, to employment that uses their full range of skills. 

"I’m honoured by this recognition of almost 20 years’ experience, that has led to significant AI projects partnering with government agencies and private corporations to create global impact", says Professor Suominen. Reflecting on the future, Hanna also shared "I see in myself, a catalyst for change, to manage complexity and drive collegiality, as well as mentor emerging leaders to bridge the gap between computer, health, and social sciences."

"I wish to thank my community within the School of Computing, College, University and beyond, for supporting me to create meaningful opportunities and collaborations to benefit Australia and the world."

It is our very great pleasure to announce this promotion and acknowledge publicly all of Hanna’s wonderful achievements which culminated in this appointment. Congratulations Hanna.

Updated:  10 August 2021/Responsible Officer:  Dean, CECS/Page Contact:  CECS Marketing